Friday, August 28, 2009

Palm Springs Golf Club Clubhouse

I'm beginning to prepare for a lecture at the Palm Springs Art Museum in February as part of the Architecture 101 Series. It will feature the work of architect Hugh Kaptur. My good friend Robert Imber who gives guided tours of Palm Springs architecture guided me to a number of Kaptur works that I was unfamiliar with, including this building. It has some really beautiful elements, but would benefit from some restoration. It was done while Kaptur was in partnership with Richard Ricciardi, the architet of the Gas Company Building, shown earlier.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What is so rare as a Bungalow in Palm Springs?

You occasionally see a Bungalow in Beaumont or other small towns nearby, but rarely in Palm Springs. This one, on Calle Santa Rosa, from the 1920s may be a Sear's Mail-order house. I would love to know more about it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Facadomy is generally not accepted as a suitable preservation practice for historic buildings because it does not protect all of the elements that make up a building’s significance. The result of facadomy is tokenism that literally protects one side of a place’s history. Buildings are conceived in three dimensions and so it follows that if they are significant, they should be retained in three dimensions. Protection of the whole building is far more meaningful than protection of the building’s “parts.” When designation of the Palm Springs International Airport was being considered by the City Council, they opted to protect only the front facade...Now the same strategy is being considered as a “compromise” for the designation of the Oasis Commercial Building. Isn’t it time for this town to join the real world?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Birge Residence on the Avenue Foch

Ethel Birge was also a francophile....this is her Paris apartment on the Avenue Foch where she died. Its near the intersection of the Avenue Foch and Rue Rude...go figure!

Birge Residence - The Ingleside Inn

This is the home Humphrey and Ethel Birge had built for themselves in Palm Springs. They were originally from Buffalo and also had a home in Pasadena. Today its a Palm Springs Class 1 Historic Site known as the Ingleside Inn.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Gas Company

I've always been curious about this great looking little building on Sunrise. It was built in 1969 to the designs of Palm Desert Architect Robert H Ricciardi. The failure of the imperfect "corduroy" concrete was discovered when the first board forms were removed...but wiser heads prevailed and the imperfections were recognized for the beauty they possess; the building was completed utilizing the "imperfect" process resulting in one of the town's most memorable buildings. Thanks to architectural guru Robert Imber for his background info on this gem.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

SHoP Architects

A preview of the Architecture and Design Council's upcoming January lecture: this is a small rehab done by SHoP Architects on Madison Avenue in New York. Its really cool...

Proposed Movie Colony Demolition

This 1924 Mediterranean style home in the Movie Colony is proposed for demolition. The owner wants to replace it with a new home in a contemporary style. This demolition of what is essentially sound housing sends a strong message about a town that gives lip-service to sustainability....